Who would have thought that the answer to ripped or faded clothing could be as nifty as a 3D printing pen that’s small enough to fit in your bag? Known as the Fabric Pen, this little device might be the simplest way to repair fabric snags when you’re on the go. You don’t even need a needle and thread.
Instead, this futuristic pen mends by 3D printing fabric. Incredible, right? This is all thanks to Ingrida Kazėnaitė, a Lithuanian designer, whose Fabric Pen was recently selected as one of 35 finalists in the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab competition.
Fabric Pen is a next generation fabric repair kit. It works by scanning damaged fabric and then automatically 3D printing a matching patch to fit the damaged area. The 3D printed fabric is attached to the loose fabric threads and quickly hides any damage.
It’s crazy impressive how the pen ensures the printed patch blends in by making it match the color and material of the damaged garment, but this device could be your chance to have a little fun, too. You could decide to print patches with different colors and patterns to customize your clothing. The options are kinda endless.
Kazėnaitė was inspired by Fabrican’s Spray-on Fabric, which is an instant fabric in a can that takes form as soon as it’s sprayed onto a surface. The result is a non-woven material which consists of interconnected fibers. The Fabric Pen draws on the idea of a fabric particle delivery system to fix any outfit in a flash, but makes it much more precise.
Currently, the pen is still in its concept phase. But it’s certainly a project worth bookmarking and keeping a close eye on — you know we will be. At the very least, this pen says a lot about where the 3D printing industry is headed. This is, after all, just one in a series of innovative 3D printing pens following CreoPop, the Lix and the 3Doodler. We can’t wait to see what comes next.
What do you think of the Fabric Pen? How would you customize your clothing if you could get your hands on it? Share your thoughts in the comments below.